Supreme Court rules too late to reinstate dismissed Gaming Board employees

Supreme Court rules too late to reinstate dismissed Gaming Board employees

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Supreme Court has ruled it is too late to reinstate dismissed Gaming Board employees who were terminated for redundancy in 2017.

The workers were terminated by the Gaming Board during the period from October 2017 through February 2018. 

In a written judgement dated January 6, Senior Justice Indra Charles said the plaintiffs “were unable to cite one single authority to bolster their submissions that, after such a lengthy delay, the Court could make such an order”.
Charles added: “
All things considered, had the Plaintiffs pursued this matter with alacrity, the Court might have been able to fix another date for reinstatement shortly after the appeal was withdrawn and dismissed. 

“It is not a good and sufficient reason to say that they were the ones spearheading the discussions between the parties. Simply put, an application should have been made to the Court sooner even as negotiations were ongoing.”

She added: “It is now too late for the Plaintiffs who were made redundant more than 4 1⁄2 years ago to be reinstated.”

According to the judgement, 17 Gaming Board employees, who were now before the court with 19 others, took legal action following their termination. The workers got a judgement in February 2020 ordering them to be reinstated no later than June 30, 2020. However, the reinstatement order was stayed pending the determination of the Gaming Board’s appeal.

Charles noted the Gaming Board withdrew their appeal on December 15, 2020 but it was not communicated to the Supreme Court.

“There was a two-year hiatus before the Defendant [Gaming Board] filed a Summons to assess damages which was followed by two Summons, one from each set of Plaintiffs asking the Court to fix 15 December 2020 as the reinstatement date,” the judgement read. 

“On the other hand, the Defendant argued that reinstatement is an impracticality not only because of the passage of time but also, that these Plaintiffs were terminated on the basis of redundancy.”

Charles dismissed the application with costs to the Gaming Board to be taxed if not agreed. She further ordered the assessment of damages is heard by the Registrar upon application by either party. 

About Ava Turnquest

Ava Turnquest is the head of the Digital Department at Eyewitness News. Her most notable beat coverage spans but is not limited to politics, immigration and human rights, with a focus especially on minority groups. In 2018, she was nominated by the Bahamas Press Club for “The Eric Wilmott Award for Investigative Journalism”. Ava is deeply motivated by her passion about the role of fourth estate, and uses her pen to inform, educate and sensitize the public.